The Los Angeles Lakers (10-12) have won eight of their last 10 games, Anthony Davis has entered the NBA's Most Valuable Player conversation, and a team that was considered a punchline a few weeks ago is finally being taken seriously.
But with Davis back playing like "Bubble AD" after a signature win against the 16-6 Milwaukee Bucks on Friday and a 55-point explosion on Sunday against the Washington Wizards, it's now time for the Lakers front office to take this team's immediate future seriously.
Up until recently, the front office was seemingly reticent to make a blockbuster trade. Rather than ship out Russell Westbrook and one or both of their available future first-round picks (2027 and 2029), the Lakers seemed content making minor moves while waiting to shop for bigger upgrades around the 2023 draft and free agency. Los Angeles has preserved roughly $30-35 million in cap space for this upcoming summer.
But this recent surge makes a trade more likely than the alternative. Going for it this season is more of an option with Davis playing this well, picks and future cap space be damned.
It's difficult to pinpoint precisely when Davis got past the back injury that ailed him early in the season, but he went from averaging 23.8 points and 10.6 rebounds in October to 27.2 points and 13.5 rebounds in November. That resurgence is carrying the Lakers even though LeBron James is not playing up to his usual standards.